Thursday, June 30, 2011

Some old Stuff

These are some pieces of mine that are quite old actually. At least 10 years old, actually. But I still like them, and figure it would be fun to show them off.

This first one is called "Mech Hed" which came from a sheet of sketches of cyborg skeleton parts, I guess inspired by various things like "Terminator" and H.P. Lovecrafts "Necronomicon"

This Piece, call "View from Trin" is based on a sci-fi story Davin Yant and I had been working on years ago. This was a composite that included 3 different media. The foreground is all pen and ink, the nebula space effects were done in watercolor and the planets were done in 3ds max (r3).

This next piece titled "Elf-Mage"was envisioned as card art for the Magic: The Gathering card game. I didn't have any card mechanics or anything much beyond the drawing, but that was the motivation behind it.

This last piece, called  "Shadow Ninja" is not of Raiden, though I do see the similarities, and surely the character from Mortal Kombat had some influence, but I was looking more for the traditional "rice hat" kind of look that has gotten more popular lately fro ninjas, like in "The Warriors Way" I still think this is a bad ass character tho, and someday hope to use him in something. The idea is that the Ninja is actually dead, but haunts the armor he wore. So for the purposes of story, if someone were to fight this guy, their bullets or blades would pass through the black spaces. The armor has to be destroyed in order to defeat the spirit.
-oh, and the cool "elephant skin" border was made by scanning a piece of tinfoil that was crumpled up and then flattened back out.
So there is a sample of some of my older pieces. I have posted some of these images elsewhere, like older sites and on my Deviant Art page.
Remember to check me out on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter: @levitattoo

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

That time of year.

Mule from the Jade Monkey has left for his vacation, as has Kenny, one of the Chop Shop Crew. And Dawn, Liberty and I will be leaving on the 3rd to head out to Montana. It's vacation time! I will post pics and updates from our trip here. No tattooing on the trip this time around. I don't want to get caught up working, and miss out on the fun!

Here's something to look at:
I painted this guy a while ago, like a few years ago. but he's still cool, and though it's tricky painting a 3d object, I would love to do more of these eventually.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Collector Spotlight #5: Jen Haskin"s Cyber Nek

How about it? Welcome to another Collector Spotlight, this one featuring Jen's Cybernetic neck tattoo (if the title didn't clear that up). And though this piece still needs some fine tuning, and I cant find the most recent photos, (I think I lost them on my old flash drive, along with many other works... sad) But anyway. It's a really cool piece. It's been a great challenge and a wild concept! So on with it then!

The Concept: Jen Came to me with the idea of tattooing her neck with the Capricorn sea goat, and a cyborg/machine piece under torn skin. The images on the left are the initial drafts and from there I worked up the larger image on the right. This is one of the very first pieces I lined completely in grey. Though I was still working it as a lined piece, by that, I mean I was working out the piece in my head by the shapes and structure of the machinery in the design, and not considering light and shading first, or really including it into the greyline, like I did with the Sin City piece. Though I do go that direction for this tattoo, as you will see, that planning wasnt there in the outline... but then the stencil was all drawn in green marker...
And at this point. I had done a good amount of freehand stencils like this, but not quite this intricate, and definitely not on the neck, shoulder area. which I have to say is a tough spot to work. I've never been a fan of tattooing the throat area, the rest isn't a walk in the park, but it's not like the throat.
The marker drawing took almost 2 hours and was the easiest part of the whole thing.

The greyline didn't take nearly as long as the marker did, but that didn't make it easier. Jen sat great for this piece, really only having trouble on the throat and collarbone, but nothing that interfered with what I was doing.

I couldn't find all the stages photos of the shading, This did not all happen at once. first we did the sea goat, then in different sessions shaded blocks of areas, like the back, the side and the throat separately. it was the only way, considering sensitivity of the area, with difficulty of tattooing those areas, and that I was still figuring out how to do this technique in more complicated designs.
So like I had said, it's not done, we have one more overall touch up. These last pics aren't even of the most recent progress, with the skin tear shaded and such. as I was saying, after the different sections were finished, we then worked over the entire piece to smooth out any inconsistency and deepen the shading. As always, I prefer to work lighter because I can always make things darker. but you cant make things lighter in a tattoo.

So that's pretty much it on this one... it took about 6 hours to put this segment together as I've been taking care of my 5 month old daughter at the same time, feeding, changing, and entertaining her while I put this blog post together. really one of the few things I can do when I'm watching her,if I'm not trying to get it done quickly. While doing any real drawing or design work is pretty much impossible while watching her.

At least so far.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A cool redo I did a while back...

This is a betta fish "redo" these kinds of projects are really fun, and getthe best response from the collector.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Nothing special...

A couple shots of my drawing desk....just showing this weeks projects. I think I'll do this from time to time, maybe once a month.

And a bit of a close up...

I will say. I don't actually draw with all this crap on my desk. in fact, I rarely draw at this desk, most of the drawing at home, now happens at the kitchen table (better to watch Liberty). and typically on the clipboard (easier to move around) I used to draw on the desk, with paper taped down and t-square out, but it was too hard to stay at the desk, break for a cig, or answer the phone, etc. with the clipboard, I can chill with friends or Dawn, and keep drawing, I can move around and not end up losing time on my drawing chores. For me, it's just easier. I can't imagine being stuck at a drawing desk for hours everyday...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Future has arrived.

Busy Busy!

So I have been watching my Daughter Liberty a bit more these past couple weeks, and as such I have been woefully behind on so many projects (and I was doing so well too..) So I wont be posting a collector spotlight until I get back from my vacation for the 4th. but also, when I get back, I will be adding another segment to the blog. a weekly post of pages from my indy comic "Maze" I'm working on #3 whenever I get a spare minute (yes, it's going pretty slow, I started this book more than three years ago, and still am only halfway finished) BUT I will be posting pages from chapters 1 and 2, a page a week (that should be easy. right?) as I work on chapter 3, and then will release pages of chapter 3 as I move into Chapter 4. might as well show it off here, otherwise I'm not sure anyone will get to see it. ha!

There are other projects with the Chop Shop and Jade Monkey crews that hopefully take off, but we'll see...

So come july 9th, I will have returned from vacation, and plan to put out some new material (and some old).

for now, just a few pics of some recent work - Have to at least post a couple pics right? why else do all 6 of my fans come here for? ha!

Hope's "Day of the Dead Pooh" 1/2 sleeve. Not 100% done, but super awesome still!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Matrix Sentinel Study

This is a compilation of a study I am doing for a tattoo project. I dont like showing the raw art for a tattoo until the tattoo is done, and none of these images will actually be used in the tattoo. But these things are just hard to draw and I like how they are turning out, so I wanted to show them off.

I'm posting this shit everywhere; facebook, deviant art, tumblr, twitter, here! ha!
why not. I think these have turned out pretty good so far.

Collector Spotlight: Jason Payne's Sin City

Yes, it's actually another Collector Spotlight! Unfortunately, I had a really hard time finding any staged out photos for the Sin City piece. I know I have them, but for the life of me... I cannot find them. ah well. I'll do my best with what we have here...

We started this piece at the original Jade Monkey, though we put most of the time in at the New Jade Monkey. And seriously, this piece was the most challenging thing I had done at the time, and still is one of my most ambitious and difficult pieces I've done. Thank god Jason sat so well for it (considering it's on the ribs)

So. this first pic is the design layout. I took images from the movie and combined them with some pics from the comic series as well. I wanted the piece to have the same overall feel as the comic and the movie (after all, that was part of what made the movie so bad ass, how Rodriguez recreated Frank Miller's style so beautifully, it was the purest translation from page to screen that comics had gotten to see up to that point, and proved that there are real stories in comics, not just batman and the x-men... sorry...geeked out a little bit, my bad)
So this is what we came up with for the overall design...

And this is the finished tattoo... damn I wish I had those process photos...
Now there are obvious differences. This piece will show you what happens when putting a flat image on a curved body, and the natural "distortion" that occurs. But really, it had a cool dimensional effect, where Jessica Alba's character remains paramount, and everything else is moved more into the background by the curvature of the body. A neat, unintended effect of the design's interaction with it's canvas.

but to fill in a bit of what happened in between these stages, was about 20+ sessions of working each character element separately and then working the between spaces, before doing multiple sessions of fine tuning and adding white and red accents. Alba's character was the most difficult, and the most important. though I don't think I got her look 100%, I feel she still captures the character of Nancy.

The back of the tattoo (your left, as you look at these images) I added Kevin the serial killer (Elijah Wood) and Gail, the prostitute gang leader (referenced from the comics). Kevin was by far the easiest, and Gail turned out to be the least interesting character in the piece actually.

From there however, on the right, front side of the tattoo, is where I think I did my best, and had the most fun...

Miho (Devon Aoki) and Marv (Mickey Rourke) are two of the most dynamic characters in the Sin City world, and they they turned out the best overall in my opinion in the tattoo, and I also liked that they ended up in the front/forward facing area of the composition, being positioned where they would get more visibility. That Marv tho... a fucking joy to tattoo! I would love to do a half sleeve of just him from that classic shot.

Too bad I couldn't show more of the in between process (kinda the point of this little blog segment after all...), the grey lines, the base shading, building this piece up bit by bit, layer by layer, session by session, slowly painting this image into skin. I wanted to show it all...

I can say now, that in a way, I wasn't ready to do this piece when I did it. But in doing it, I became more able, and by the end of the piece, I had acquired the skill and understanding needed to pull off a tattoo like this. It's easily one of my favorites, and I think I'm more critical of this piece than of most others, but it was a such a great and challenging learning process, I wish I was still working on it! ha!

oh yeah, I am.... I get one more fine tuning/touch up session, unless I can talk him into more.... hahaHAhahAha! see you in July Jason!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Just a bit something for right now...

As promised the photo of the Jason Voorhees mask I tattooed on Amber... if not a bit late.
No Spotlight really on it; had a lot of fun, used experimental techniques on this piece that worked really well and led to this piece:
The Bruce Campbell/Ash color portrait. first attempt at something like this. though I have had a lot of pieces of similar complexity working up to this piece. almost ready to take on a real portrait!

ok. so this isn't much of a post, I know. and I've been getting some flak from a few friends in regard to the fact that I haven't posted anything here for a while. my bad. I hope to make this location the center of all of my work in general. you will seeing more stuff this Thursday, as well as smaller posts through the week.

Upcoming: I have been working on my comic, Maze #3, finished with the pencils now and just starting the inking... I'll show some samples of that as well as have other news regarding the the Chop Shop Comics crew gearing up to retake the local Phoenix indy scene!